High-end graphics cards for desktop PCs have slowly but surely grown in physical size over the years, matching their growth in performance. It’s not uncommon for a flagship GeForce RTX 4080 or RTX 4090 to feature three large fans and a chunky heatsink and be almost four slots thick.
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This adds weight and puts additional strain on the now relatively small PCIe connector, leading to most enthusiast GPUs shipping with braces and additional support. However, this hasn’t stopped issues cropping up with high-end GPUs like the GeForce RTX 4080 and RTX 4090, where PCBs are cracking near the PCIe lock.
With heavier cards putting additional strain on boards, leading to cracking and eventual returns and repairs affecting NVIDIA’s partners – it looks like GIGABYTE has revised its PCB design with “a lot more surface area to distribute the weight.”
This comes from Reddit, where user ‘MisinformationALWAYS’ showcases images of GIGABYTE’s new PCB design seen in the company’s GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER models.
The “more surface area” addresses the region where most GPU cracking has been observed, next to the PCIe locking mechanism, so it will be interesting to see if this resolves the issue. It certainly looks much more durable.
Last year, we reported on GIGABYTE GeForce RTX GPUs cracking – covering GeForce RTX 30 Series and GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs. That was in June 2023. In December 2023, we reported on a GPU repair professional pointing out that they received 19 cracked GeForce RTX 4090 cards, covering ASUS and GIGABYTE models. So, yeah, it’s something that needs to be addressed.
PCBs have many layers with complex electrical components and elements, so cracks of this nature – even if they look visible and small – are not easily repaired. Ultimately, it’s great to see GIGABYTE revising and updating its PCB design to account for the additional requirements of modern high-end GPUs.